Dear Editor,

Thank you for your support of Vermillion and allowing us to have a voice in your column, which is important, even when we don't agree. I would like to address a few comments that came up recently in the letter to the editor. And while the author was Nancy Foster, my comments are for Ms. Foster and for the general community.

I fully agree with Ms. Foster that we shouldn't live in fear, which is an unhealthy way to live our lives. I may disagree with some of her statements, but the important message is that in Vermillion, we should care for each other and be a strong community. And her letter implies that we should not be concerned with a 2% mortality rate. I would like to suggest that the 128 thousand plus Americans who have died from COVID-19 are worth mourning and that we as responsible citizens should do our best, as in a roughly 10,000 person town, that could mean 200 lives.

So the question is, what should we do? It's obvious that we can't deny that we are living in a pandemic, and those that do so are putting ourselves and loved ones at risk. But we also can't kill the economy or stay inside forever, especially considering that there is no vaccine or cure in sight.

Therefore I would like to propose something. What if we all have a healthy respect for something that has killed as many people as 42 September 11ths, or more than double the 58,365 Americans lost in Vietnam? What if we give our leaders the respect that they deserve and understand that they are working tirelessly on our behalf. I for one would have never referred to Lyndon Johnson as the "unelected" president when he survived JFK and wouldn't expect that tactic to be effective. We absolutely should ALL vote and elect our leaders, but for the time being, we need to respect and work with our city council and Mayor Collier-Wise.

I believe that respect for our leaders and respect for our community is the only way to begin a discussion, and since people always respond better to an informed dialogue, let's start there! The CDC recommends cloth face coverings in public, so that's a great way to show respect and compassion. Then, yes, let's have a conversation about how to best live our life in the current environment, and again, with RESPECT. Respect for the Americans we have lost, respect for the families of those affected by COVID, and respect for our leaders and the pressure that they have on their shoulders to keep us safe. That's what separates our countries from others. We get the opportunity to work together and share our values and opinions, and hope that the majority aligns and votes with our own opinions.

I hope everyone reading this, and especially Ms. Foster can all collaborate and recognize the ultimate goal: to keep Vermillion healthy and thriving, physically, emotionally, and economically.

All my best,

Scarlett Crawford

Vermillion

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